You Can Be a Delegator - Tom Gray ('21)
“You Can Be a Delegator,” - Tom Gray (‘21, Corporate Finance & Accounting)
Tom grew up in New Jersey playing the sport he loves, hockey, while getting super involved at his small magnet high school with his Future Business Leaders of America chapter. From a young age, Tom loved to be involved in leadership opportunities. He derives most of his energy from working with a team, in a collaborative environment to work towards a common goal. Tom is a great delegator and does his best work when he can be a part of a structured organization, bringing together people with diverse perspectives, and where he can produce something amazing, whether it is with teammates or executive board members.
“I used to always be a ‘Yes Man’ but I have found that one of the most important qualities in great leadership is that you cannot always make everyone happy. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions to achieve what is best for your organization or team.”
Tom was the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) President last semester and the Interfraternity Council (IFC) President for this year and has really enjoyed his leadership positions within these organizations. His delegation strengths have stemmed from his experience organizing and working with e-boards. He always aims to find the people who want to have a lasting impact. Tom’s first inspiration for his involvement in Fraternity and Sorority Life really stemmed from his older brother, who was a founder of a fraternity within his own university. He was able to see the lasting impact that his brother’s time in Greek life had on him and Tom was eager to be part of it as well. As President of IFC, having to oversee over 250 students, his passion for delegating and putting trust into others has really grown. Tom says, “There is strength in communication and in transparency.” It is important to Tom that he delegates with meaning. Keeping everyone in line while meeting expectations from Bentley and the AEPi chapter in addition to implementing incentives for his brothers to be involved and ensure there is value added, is not an easy job.
“It is important to take everyone’s views into account; you never know who will bring the next big idea to the table. Don’t let people make decisions for you. Challenge things and be the first to take action and step up.”
Some of Tom’s most rewarding moments of being in Greek Life have been organizing the Frat Classic Hockey Tournament and coaching an inter-fraternity lacrosse game. Since Tom grew up playing hockey, the Frat Classic was a sentimental and exciting experience. “It is nostalgic to get back on ice, and to be with teammates; it is what drove me to be in the organizations that I am in today.” With the support from his team, Tom spearheaded the initiative to have people bring donations of canned food as their entry into the game to donate to the Community Day Center of Waltham. IFC raised over $1,000 in cash and over 500 canned food items. In addition, last semester the fraternities held a lacrosse tournament organized by Sigma Gamma Delta (SGD). AEPi brothers teamed up with Sigma Pi, since neither fraternity had enough members to play, and they ended up winning the tournament. Tom even coached the team, regardless of knowing very little about lacrosse. This is a testament to Tom’s leadership style; that he could help support teammates from two different organizations and win the tournament.
“When I was going through hardship, my community of friends and family were there for me. The support system that fraternities and sororities give to one another is the best aspect. It is truly a brotherhood and sisterhood.”
One of Tom’s favorite parts of being in Greek Life is the emotional and career building support that alumni give even after they have moved on from the Bentley community. Due to a helpful connection with an alumni, Tom held an internship with a small record company, working closely with the CFO. “I want to be that role model for underclassmen and continue to be there for them and offer advice to help them through.” In addition to corporate finance and accounting, leadership and management will be a part of Tom’s future. Tom’s dad has worked in management throughout his life and it has inspired him to learn to communicate effectively and delegate with meaning.
“Try to be a half decent person. It is hard to be a leader, but I believe that you can be well-liked and still be assertive.”